A Denied Woodbury Workers Compensation Claim Can Be Extremely Stressful
Our world is a chaotic place, and even if you work in a quiet corner office, the possibility exists for you to get hurt on the job. If you work as a lineman, tree trimmer, or construction worker, the odds of getting hurt while at work increase drastically. In the event of any workplace injury, you will need to file a what is known as workers’ compensation claim.
How the process works is simple: if an injury on the job renders you unable to work, you can file a claim for benefits and receive some compensation to make up for lost wages and medical bills. In turn, your employer and coworkers are off the hook for liability for the injury, meaning they can’t further be sued for damages.
However, like most things that have to do with an insurance company, Minnesota’s worker compensation process doesn’t always work so smoothly. Your employer, or the insurance company that takes the claim, might try underhanded tactics to deny or minimize the benefits paid out to you. They may claim the injury didn’t happen on the job, or that it isn’t as serious as you claim. All of this can make the process of getting the full benefits you need time consuming and frustrating.
This is where the use of an experienced workman’s compensation lawyers can help. If your injury is serious enough, you can bet that the employer (to prevent their premiums from going up) and the insurance company (to keep costs low and profits high) will try to deny or diminish your claim. Do not let them take what is rightfully yours, especially when it means the difference between financial security for you and your family.
What Kind of Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
- Muscular and bone injuries, such as torn ligaments and fractures from impacts
- Any sickness or illness resulting from exposure to toxins, such as mesothelioma
- Traumatic Brain Injuries and other head injuries such as concussions
- Neck and back injuries, like a spinal cord injury
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Loss of hearing or eyesight
- Or other injuries caused by or at work
Eligibility and Filing for a Workers Comp Claim
The Workers’ Compensation process varies from state to state and industry to industry, but most employees are covered by a plan of some variety. These plans cover the majority of incidents that can conceivably occur in the workplace, including unintentional injuries, diseases, illnesses, and deaths.
Because the system is no-fault, workers are not required to prove fault for the injuries to recover the benefits they’re entitled to. The timeframe to make a claim is two years from the date that the employee submits a report of the injury to their employer. In that report, the injured worker should provide details such as:
- The names of any witnesses to the accident,
- Where the accident occurred,
- How the accident, incident, or illness occurred
- What injuries or damages it caused
- When it occurred, down to the time of day
Next, the worker needs to seek an evaluation by a medical professional to determine the extent of the injury. Typically, the provider of this will be chosen by the claimant’s employer, however, in Minnesota, claimants can seek a second opinion.
This evaluation is known as an IME, or Independent Medical Examination. In theory, the IME is to determine the exact nature of the worker’s condition and determine the cause of the injury. However, insurance companies may attempt to fault the IME as a way to limit payouts.
This is why it is important to get a second opinion, as sometimes the doctor assigned by the employer may work to protect their financial interests by denying injuries or clearing an employee for work when they aren’t ready.
Appealing a Workers Comp Denial
If the insurance company denies that an injury occurred, accuses the employee of faking an injury, or blames their injury on a condition that existed already, the worker has a right to appeal the denial of benefit.
In Minnesota, this process requires the filing of a form called an Employee’s Claim Petition through Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry. This is your chance to explain how your workplace injury happened, when it happened, what medical treatments you have received because of your injury, and what benefits you need or have been denied. You will also need to submit a report from a doctor that supports your injury claim.
The experience of an attorney can come in handy here, as they will know what to expect and how to deal with situations that may arise during proceedings–especially since the insurance company and your employer will likely be on hand to rebut evidence.
At the hearing, the worker and their legal representative may present evidence showing that they are entitled to benefits. This usually takes the form of an account of the accident itself and the subsequent medical treatment. Medical records may be used by the attorney, along with a physician’s opinion, to show that the injury was job-related.
Alternative solutions to settle disputes do exist. Mediation may be used outside of the hearing process to craft a creative and mutually acceptable arrangement of modified job responsibilities or financial support.
Experienced Workers Comp Attorneys in Woodbury, Minnesota
If you believe you have a case to make for bad faith actions by your your employer or insurance company related to a worker’s compensation claim, or if you believe your workers’ compensation claim was wrongfully decreased, delayed, or denied, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced lawyers at Sand Law LLC. We can be reached online through our contact form or by calling 651-291-SAND. Our experienced team will help you to get you the compensation you deserve while handling all the legal stress so you can focus on getting better!
SAND LAW LLC
7650 Currell Blvd Suite 3140
Woodbury, MN 55125